Silverpeak advises Virtual Clarity on strategic acquisition by DXC Technology Company

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Virtual Clarity, the leading cloud transformation consultancy, on its sale to DXC Technology Company (NYSE: DXC). This follows DXC’s strategic investment in Virtual Clarity in 2017 on which Silverpeak was also lead adviser.

Virtual Clarity is Silverpeak’s 7th transaction in the last 6 months.

Founded in 2008, Virtual Clarity is based largely in the U.K. and U.S. The company is comprised of a blend of enterprise IT insiders and hands-on experts with deep knowledge of modern tools, techniques and key industries – including Financial Services, Health Care, Manufacturing, and Telecommunications.

The acquisition of Virtual Clarity aims to further position DXC as a leading provider of IT Modernization services for applications and infrastructure. This builds on DXC’s acquisition earlier this year of Luxoft as clients increasingly are seeking industry-specific application development and innovation as part of their IT modernization approach.

Silverpeak worked with the Virtual Clarity board as adviser on their journey to a strategic realisation. We approached global strategic buyers and PE growth investors. Having secured multiple Tier 1 offers, we managed the process to a tight completion timetable.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the deal added “We are delighted to have advised Steve on this fourth transaction. Steve and his team at Virtual Clarity have built a great business and will be able to accelerate its impact to leave a footprint in the sand, reporting directly to the DXC CEO.”

Steve Peskin, CEO and founder of Virtual Clarity said, “This is my fourth transaction with Paddy and his team, starting 20 years ago. He has always outperformed but this time Paddy, Matteo and their team absolutely nailed it. From first offer to completion in 50 days, and from LOI in only 19 business days, was always going to be a monumental task but they pulled it off masterfully with calming humour, great expertise and advice and nerves of steel. Bravo! ”

Deep Tech Summit – October 2019

We are delighted to be sponsoring TechTour’s Deep Tech Summit 2019 in London on 15-16 October.

Europe’s most promising growth companies and “wow-factor start-ups” have been chosen by the DTS Selection Committee will be presenting following an opening keynote by Ron Black, CEO, Imagination Technologies.

This year’s Summit covers range of breakthrough technologies including autonomous systems, robotics, AI, IoT, cyber-security, big-data, blockchain, 3D printing, space, hardware and electronics, and other IP-driven solutions enabling digital transformation across multiple industries.

Pietro Strada and Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partners at Silverpeak, will be presenting at the Summit.

For more information please contact Jane Martin – jm@silverpeakib.com

 

Silverpeak advises ICS Cybersecurity specialist Sentryo on acquisition by Cisco

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Sentryo, a France-based company that provides asset visibility and cybersecurity solutions for industrial control systems (ICS), on its acquisition by Cisco.

Sentryo is the pioneer in solutions dedicated to managing the cyber risk of M2M networks and industrial control systems. Sentryo’s ICS CyberVision empowers control engineers as the front line of defence to ensure integrity, continuity and security of their industrial processes. It leverages unique AI algorithms to give them comprehensive visibility on their industrial assets, so they can easily identify vulnerabilities, detect anomalies in real-time and work with IT to fight cyber-attacks. Sentryo’s ICS CyberVision is used every day by large corporations in the energy, manufacturing and transportation markets.

Silverpeak originally worked with Sentryo on a fundraising round during which time we assisted management in developing a comprehensive long term strategic growth plan to become the de facto leader in Europe and enter the US market. Shortly thereafter Sentryo were approached by a strategic buyer and again as lead adviser, Silverpeak were appointed to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential buyers and negotiate a transaction through to final completion.

Thierry Rouquet, CEO of Sentryo said, “Silverpeak have been the long-term corporate finance advisers to Sentryo, and helped engineer the previous round of financing based on an ambitious international drive. When Sentryo was approached unexpectedly they were once again ready to help and conducted a rapid scan of interested parties before helping us negotiate the win-win deal with Cisco. During this whole process, Silverpeak always acted speedily and professionally. We especially appreciated their international reach as well as the local support. To be honest, at many junctures, they helped us to convince our shareholders of the considerable potential of Sentryo, resulting in a price which, in many ways, went beyond our expectations.”

As a serial entrepreneur, Thierry knew the ropes and had a clear objective of building a world leader in the cybersecurity sector applied to industry. From starting the business to reaching a leadership position in Europe and to joining forces with the world leader in networking (and the inventor of the Internet of Everything moniker) took just 5 years, which is a credit to the team and its backers. Along the way, Silverpeak helped keep the ambition alive through funding first and then the Cisco transaction, which proved to be a fantastic exit for the financial shareholders, as well as great recognition for the team and the resources of a large firm to continue with their vision.

Throughout the journey, Silverpeak delivered steadfast support maintaining the level of ambition required in the face of startup competitors who were raising up to 10x more funds than Sentryo who, in the end, proved to be the most capital efficient of all. The Cisco transaction demonstrates we were right in supporting Sentryo and its backers, and shows, once again, the value of Silverpeak’s technology specialisation as well as its efficient delivery across Europe.

This is the fifth transaction that Silverpeak has completed in the last three months.

For more information please contact Pietro Strada: ps@silverpeakib.com

US SaaS multiples blast previous high out of the water

Welcome to the latest edition of the Silverpeak Benchmark report – Application Software, a review of key company valuation metrics in the US, UK and European application software sectors. By reviewing sector median averages, our aim is to provide a set of software industry benchmarks against which individual company performance can be measured.

Report highlights

  • US SaaS median revenue multiples have continued to rise, surpassing their previous quarter end, 8.2x, by 7%; whilst also reaching an all time high of 9.4x during the quarter
  • UK Small & Mid median revenue multiples were recovering, closing 6.7% higher than the previous quarter; however, they are still 10% lower than the same quarter last year (3.9x)
  • European companies continue to have the lowest valuations, with no sign of this trend changing any time soon

Silverpeak Benchmark Report Q2_2019_Final

Autonomy software client Oxbotica raises an additional investment round

Silverpeak’s universal autonomy software client Oxbotica has raised an additional significant undisclosed investment round from existing investors IP Group plc, Parkwalk Advisors and AXA XL.

We also advised Oxbotica on their successful £14m funding in their first institutional investment round in 2018. The additional investment coincides with the appointment of Ozgur Tohumcu as CEO joining from Tantalum and previously Ericsson, who will lead the business on its next chapter of development.

Oxbotica, whose mantra is “any vehicle, any environment, any time” customers include: driverless shuttle trials at Gatwick airport; driverless cargo pods at Heathrow airport; partnering with Addison Lee to bring self-driving taxis to London; and other sectors in every hemisphere.

Paddy MccGwire, Managing Partner at Silverpeak said, “ This is our sixth transaction announced in eight weeks. It is great to see this iconic British HQ deep technology global business demonstrating the confidence of its investors so quickly. And I’d like to congratulate Co-Founder CTO Paul Newman, who also is the Director of the Oxford Robotics Institute, on being awarded the prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal.

Winners announced at Silverpeak sponsored Enterprise Awards

Silverpeak were delighted to attend the 9th WCIT Enterprise Awards dinner last night to celebrate some of the most successful technology entrepreneurs in the UK & Ireland

Congratulations to all the winners.

Young Entrepreneur – Jack Tang – URBAN

Female Entrepreneur – Pamela Cook – INFOSHARE

Social Enterprise Entrepreneur – Alex Stephany – BEAM

Start Up Award – Niall Barton – WRISK

Public Sector Award – Jonathon Desmond, Max Smith and Michael Van De Weg – IMMJ

Deep Tech Award – Ricky Thomas – AVORA

Emerging Business Award – Priya Lakhani – CENTURY TECH

Developing Business Award – Peter Baumann – ACTIVE NAVIGATION and Emma Bowkett – CONVERTR

Scale Up Entrepreneur Award – Vishal Marria – QUANTEXA

Enterprise Award – Mark Richer – STARLEAF

Entrepreneurial Team of the Year – Neal Gandhi and Oliver Rigby – THE PANOPLY

Judges Award – Simon Hay – FIREFLY LEARNING and Bernhard Niesner – BUSUU

Mentor of Year – Stephen Kelly

Listed Company of the Year Award – Alastair Bathgate – BLUE PRISM

Silverpeak advises Thoughtonomy on agreed acquisition by Blue Prism (AIM:PRSM)

Leading the market in delivering intelligent automation capabilities from the cloud, Blue Prism, today announced its agreement to acquire Thoughtonomy for up to £80m. The acquisition will see Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform distributed and supported as a turnkey SaaS offering, helping accelerate the deployment of digital workers across market verticals and into mid-tier enterprises worldwide. Silverpeak acted as exclusive Lead Adviser to Thoughtonomy.

Thoughtonomy’s secure, award-winning enterprise grade SaaS solution, leveraging Microsoft Azure, enables an on-demand Virtual Workforce and full Intelligent Automation platform. This acquisition joins the power of Blue Prism’s connected-RPA platform with Thoughtonomy’s software, allowing customers to quickly and more easily drive improved productivity and customer experiences, without needing to set up a dedicated infrastructure to support their program.

It gives enterprises a way to access and leverage embedded and fully integrated AI technologies such as computer vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning to address a complete range of use cases from back office to front office. Additional features, including ready-to-use channel interfaces such as chatbots and web-forms coupled with Thoughtonomy’s integrated AI-enabled digital workforce manager, IADA®, helps companies scale their automation strategy at speed.

“The acquisition of Thoughtonomy will support a broader strategy to strengthen our portfolio with cloud offerings that deliver value and enhance customer experience,” says Alastair Bathgate, Co-founder and CEO, Blue Prism. “Thoughtonomy brings valuable knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of cloud-based intelligent digital workers, with a successful track record of delivering its solutions to mid-tier enterprises in a number of industry verticals complementary to the areas of the market Blue Prism has served.”

Thoughtonomy’s intellectual property and embedded Marketplace will also extend Blue Prism’s Digital Exchange DX capabilities – an intelligent automation marketplace comprising customers, technology and channel partners – while enhancing the company’s overall push to deliver RPA services with leading cloud services providers such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM.

“We’ve been working with Blue Prism since our foundation in 2013, and we’ve built out our unique SaaS and intelligent automation capabilities to leverage their best in class RPA software,” says Terry Walby, CEO & Founder of Thoughtonomy. “Together as leaders, we plan to broaden and simplify access to the most advanced digital workforce capabilities on the planet.”

This combination of capabilities will provide enterprises with even greater flexibility for their automation projects offering them the ability to choose between SaaS or dedicated infrastructure. Together both companies will continue to build out the strongest partner network in the industry aimed at driving up customer adoption in key market verticals including financial services, telecoms, insurance, retail, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, professional services, energy, utilities, public sector and outsourcing providers. This also includes commitments to support partner enablement, sales, pre-sales and implementation on a global scale.

Thoughtonomy has delivered year on year growth of over more than 250 per cent over the past three years and has customers spread across four continents. In 2018, the company was ranked fourth in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 and 11th in the Deloitte 2018 UK Technology Fast 50, cementing its position as one of the fastest growing UK-headquartered technology companies and one of the brightest stars in global AI.

Silverpeak worked with Thoughtonomy as lead adviser examining both private equity investment and strategic acquirers globally culminating in the agreed acquisition of Thoughtonomy by Blue Prism.

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added, “Terry and the team at Thoughtonomy have developed a great business in the six years since founding, developing the market leading intelligent automation SaaS RPA platform. Blue Prism will provide a great strategic and cultural fit to continue to exploit the market opportunity.”

 

For more information please contact Paddy MccGwire: pm@silverpeakib.com

Other advisers to Thoughtonomy were: Taylor Wessing, lawyers; Smith & Williamson, tax.

Silverpeak advises Choice Hotels on sale of Maxxton to Fortino Capital

Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Choice Hotels in the sale of Maxxton, an all-in-one enterprise planning and inventory management software solution developed for vacation & short-term rental managers.

Maxxton is a software as a service (SaaS) solution to simplify the operational and reservation processes for hospitality managers. Its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform caters specifically to the needs of the short & medium-term accommodation rental sector. Maxxton automates time-consuming manual work, improves efficiency, increases bookings and reduces staffing costs for hospitality organisations.

Silverpeak worked as lead adviser to map the marketplace, identify and contact potential buyers and negotiate a transaction through to final completion. We approached both strategic & financial buyers globally and closed the transaction with Fortino to continue building the business with the CEO.

Justin Stebbins, Director, added “This transaction represents the most logical next step for all parties involved and Fortino will strategically assist management during its next stage of growth.”

Paddy MccGwire, the Managing Partner at Silverpeak leading the process added “We are delighted to have advised on this transaction – further strengthening our position in hospitality software.”

Silverpeak sponsors the ‘Oscars of the Technology Industry’ hosted by The Information Technologists

Silverpeak is delighted to be sponsoring once again the Enterprise Awards which are the ‘Oscars of the Technology Industry’ hosted by The Information Technologists, the City of London’s 100th Livery company formed to contribute to the growth and development of the ICT industry. The spirit of the awards is all about recognising and celebrating the very best of the UK’s technology entrepreneurial talent.

Uniquely focused on the founder rather than the businesses themselves, the Enterprise Awards boasts previous winners that have achieved prominence on both private and public markets.

Paddy MccGwire, Silverpeak Managing Partner, sits on the judging panel who look for examples of vision, growth, innovation, funding, use of capital, use of resources, strategy, execution, ambition and determination to succeed.

The Award Categories include:

Young Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs under 30
Start-Up Entrepreneur – trading for two years or less
Emerging Entrepreneur – up to £3 million annual revenue
Developing Entrepreneur – annual revenue between £3 and £10 million
Scaling Up Award – fastest growing companies
Public Sector Award – excellence and achievement in the Public Sector
Enterprise Entrepreneur – annual revenue over £10 million
Social Enterprise Entrepreneur – entrepreneurs with a business model that gives something back
Female Entrepreneur – for outstanding female entrepreneurs
Listed Company Entrepreneur – for entrepreneurs leading a Listed Company
Deep Tech Entrepreneur – game-changing, innovative, unique, core technology

For details of how to enter and to download an entry form, please go to www.enterprise-awards.co.uk.

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 30 April 2019

B2B Software Leadership Dinner: Software leaders call for greater alignment as sector grows – 6 February 2019

There is significant capital for growth-stage business-to-business (B2B) SaaS and software companies, but early-stage fundraising is more challenging; subscription is the preferred revenue model, but perpetual licenses are still used in certain settings; “SaaS businesses” can differ in revenue models, delivery models, payment terms depending on their geographical and vertical reference market.

These were the conclusions drawn from the latest B2B Software Leadership Dinner in London.

The dinner took place on Wednesday 6 February and featured 20 senior executive and board members from the software and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) sector. It was hosted by Silverpeak, the technology investment bank, Spectrum, the retained executive search and HR consulting firm for the technology sector, and technology law firm Wiggin.

“It was a wonderful dinner with the participation of 20 great executives & directors,” said Pietro Strada, Managing Partner at Silverpeak. “I think it demonstrates the quality and maturity of the software and SaaS sectors in Europe: it is clearly a very healthy and strong market.”

While the evening took place under Chatham House rules, some key points of discussion have been released.

Attendees agreed that while there is significant capital available for growth-stage B2B software companies, it was generally considered to be more difficult to secure early stage fundraising.

Furthermore, there are some major national and sectoral differences with regards to the adoption of SaaS vs. perpetual licenses, and in some cases, SaaS can represent different things to different people.

For some, it is closely affiliated with a company’s revenue model (subscription) or payment terms (annually/quarterly/monthly in advance), while for others it is about delivery (multi-tenant single-instance) and cloud hosting. For companies in certain sectors, e.g. financial services, SaaS may raise concerns about data capture and storage costs connected with these software services.

Given these various points of differentiation, the business leaders present at the dinner agreed that more needs to be done to communicate the characteristics and benefits of SaaS.

Ultimately the key success metric for B2B SaaS companies is customer adoption and utilisation, which requires the key implementation departments in the company to be aligned. It also requires SaaS providers to follow good business disciplines, such as understanding their clients’ needs and having a product that addresses them.

The group also agreed that whilst there are some common key performance indicators (KPIs) of SaaS companies, such as LTV or CAC or churn, the way in which they are calculated can vary. Senior managers should able to calculate them and present them into the context of their own businesses.

Silverpeak director David Bell revealed that some lively discussions took place among attendees, which is further evidence of the dynamic nature of the sector.

“We had a wide ranging-discussion, touching on the commercial, operational and financial insights of and challenges for B2B software businesses in diverse verticals and differing stages of maturity,” said Bell. “And somewhat surprisingly there were even some impromptu contractual negotiations taking place in the room.”